A Semi-professional Military
A Semi-professional Military

Problems Facing Russian Armed Forces in the Effort to Transition to a Contract Army

by Andrey Kalikh | Russia, Armed Forces

Russia’s military still has many Soviet-era features: mass character, low mobility, and staggering cost. But it is also modernizing. Efforts to replace compulsory military service with a professional army have had only halting success at best, but some results are clear. In 2008, it took two weeks for Russian forces to reach South Ossetia. Things were quite different on the border with Ukraine in 2014; professional soldiers were deployed to Russia’s southern Rostov region in a matter of days.

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Viewpoint

TTIP: Winning Back Trust
TTIP: Winning Back Trust

The EU Commission should take concrete steps to address the public’s concerns

by Claudia Schmucker | Europe, Free Trade

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, if signed, would create the world’s largest economic zone. But its supporters face a credibility problem: ever more Europeans, especially Germans, see in TTIP a threat to their way of life, and to democracy – a “secret treaty” that protects corporate interests while undermining high European standards for the environment, health and consumer protection. Here are five issues the EU Commission and German government must address to win back public trust.

Further Publications

How Russia Lost Germany (and How it Can Win It Back)
How Russia Lost Germany (and How it Can Win It Back)

EU foreign policy and the Ukraine crisis

by Stefan Meister | Russia, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

The growing politicization and securitization of all areas of German-Russian relations marks the end of Germany’s post-Cold-War Eastern policy. Returning to business as usual is now utterly impossible on both sides. But there is a positive side to this reality check: an end to German naïveté about Russia. Stefan Meister's article in the current issue of Russia and Global Affairs, published by the Foreign Policy Research Foundation.

Publication

Right Goals, Wrong Tools?
Right Goals, Wrong Tools?

Civil Society Empowerment in the EU Accession Process

by Natasha Wunsch | Eastern Europe, Enlargement Process

The European Commission has long stated its aim of empowering civil society in EU candidate countries. In its accession process, Croatia enjoyed strong initial support for its civil society organizations (CSOs). EU interest grew less robust, however, once the accession date was set, and CSOs lost a crucial ally in their reform efforts. The experience shows the limitations of the Commission’s current policy. Seven recommendations for strengthening CSOs as active partners in the accession process.

Analysis

Looking toward the Future
Looking toward the Future

French and German businesses set their sights on 2025

by Claire Demesmay, Barbara Kunz | Europe, Economy and Finance

In the ongoing debate on public debt, structural reforms, and competitiveness, the governmental differences between France and Germany have been thoroughly discussed. Far less attention has been given to the expectations of businesses in the two countries, although matters relating to the economy affect them with particular urgency. What problems, opportunities, and risks do they see for their own countries and for Europe in the next ten years? (English text available on the Robert Schuman Foundation website.)

Analysis

(Re-)Building Coalitions
(Re-)Building Coalitions

The Role and Potential of Member States in Shaping the Future of the EU

by Almut Möller, Josef Janning | European Union

Reforming the EU is hardly possible without coalitions of “builders” – member states willing and able to engage in sustainable coalition building at EU level. Since 2008, the EU and its members have found themselves in the middle of yet another formative phase. Will member states eventually succeed in shaping a Union able to guarantee the prosperity, security and freedom of its citizens?

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